Pack Matthews - Soul Seat Blog - Soul Seat

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Pack had been teaching Yoga for more than a decade when he noticed he and many of his students were losing hard won gains after returning to their desk jobs between classes. Determined to prevent a family history of debilitating arthritis from robbing him of mobility as well, Pack first moved all his office and musical equipment to the floor to keep stretching all day. Pack's first iteration of what is now the Soul Seat emerged from perching a floor-like platform on an old task chair he found discarded along Broadway Blvd in Columbia. Pack's passion for well designed tools led him through numerous subsequent designs with the help of local talent and early fans.

6 Ways your Soul Seat purchase is a subversive act

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1. You can purchase the Soul Seat over time without interest, reinstating the trust economy. 2. The design will not change at the pace of fashion, but at the pace of human evolution. Your Soul Seat won't go out of style in your lifetime, because it doesn't play that game at all. The Soul Seat was designed by a Yogi piano tuner who appreciates the value of tools that last and remain relavent for hundreds of years. 3. It's construction is durable enough that it can be refurbished multiple times or handed off to someone else if you ever outgrow it by transitioning to sitting mostly on the floor. Recently, a Soul Seat was resold on Craiglist for this very reason. The customer started with the standard Soul Seat, then got flexible enough to remove the Perch completely, (She was the first customer to request a pillow to cover the flange). Then she built her own floor desk to move her work completely to the floor. Her Soul Seat sold for over half of it's retail price after five years of productive use. 4. The Soul Seat represents a range of products that operate outside the current consumerist, rentier economy. It's a product that upgrades you, rather than you needing to fork over more and more rent just to keep it up to date and functioning. It will continue to play well with your body and other valuable creative tools without demanding upgrades.  5. You are supporting a post-industrial, post corporate production and design eco-system. Health By Design is a family owned, community embedded enterprise with a transparent value proposition. 6.  No user contracts! Our business model isn't built on hoovering up your personal data such as Facebook. The Soul Seat  facilitates active sitting, but we don't need to track your movement. We're pretty confident that you'll be making healthy choices as a by product of the greater satisfaction you feel at the end of a busy day.  We trust your word of mouth network will share the value. Your social network won't be healthy if we seek to manipulate...
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Heidi Scholz Interview

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It’s always a treat to meet customers face to face after only knowing them through email or phone conversations. While visiting our daughter Zoe Welch in Austin over Thanksgiving last year, Heidi Scholz and her spouse, Scott, generously agreed to meet me for lunch. They recommended East Side Café , an elegantly cozy home turned restaurant. A local favorite, East Side Café is best known for pioneering urban farming as early as the 1980’s. As we savored their famous enchiladas, we traded notes on how Heidi’s Soul Seat journey began.   Pack Matthews:    Is my memory correct that you got in touch with us after hearing about the Soul Seat through Katy Bowman ? Heidi Scholz:        That is correct. I was on my own personal journey after I did my yoga training and had injured myself. Looking for relief and searching through the internet, I saw the words “nutritious movement” and started to research that. I tried a few of Katy’s suggestions and thought “this is really awesome.” I saw one of her YouTube videos where she was on the Soul Seat and she said, “If you don’t have one of these yet, you need to look into this.” And she showed all the ways you could use it and I said, “Yes! Yes, I do need one of those.” Because that’s the way I was trying to move my body. I was trying to do it in a natural way, not sitting in a chair. I realized it hurt to sit in a chair. I felt worse after I sat in a chair. I tried to standup. I tried to sit on the floor. I tried to do anything but sit in a chair. The Soul Seat sounded like the answer to what I was looking for. So, lo’ and behold! I have one! Pack:       You hadn’t actually tried a Soul Seat. Heidi:      No, I had not. Pack:      I remember you contacted me, curious if there was anyone in the Austin area that had one. Heidi:      Right....
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Hannah's Perfect Pain-Free Day


Hannah demonstrates the synergy between the Soul Seat and Floor desk. Watch how well they play together with a conventional desk, just like her cats and dogs.
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Behind the Scenes, Artisan Carol Brown

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I always look forward to visits to Carol's shop. It's located in a modest one-story Saltbox house on a quiet street. A light yellow house with white trim in the western section of Columbia, Missouri, Carol's creativity spills out to a cosy garden.  To enter Carol's home is to be invited right into her shop. The first thing you see upon entering is her massive work table. It fills what was once the living room. Beneath the windows are various industrial sewing machines and the walls are draped with her quilts and art she has collected over the years. A mural she and her children painted fills the hall to the rest of the house. There are usually several projects in the works. During  the time of year when Columbia hosts the nationally known Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival, she's often working on sewing up the costumes for giant puppets that locals expect to see in the parade. If you have a vinyl or custom fabric Soul Seat, it was very likely upholstered in Carol's home shop. Through working with folks like Carol, we've learned that sustainabiility isn't just about sourcing the materials thoughtfully, it is also about sustaining the communities out of which our products come. My regular conversations with Carol sustain my enthusiasm as a founder. As fascinating as all the moving parts of a business are, they don't exist in isolation from our local community. Carol is a key player in local social justice work. Her skills and passions aren't bounded by her love of creating in fabric. I'm sure this is true for you as well. As the old movement song used to say, "Our life is more than our work, and our work is more than our job." Carol is a living embodiment of that sentiment. Columbia, Missouri is on the national map for its True/False Film festival and its annual Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ festival. Both of which have featured the handiwork of Carol in their parades, decorations, and props. It's a joy when our paths cross outside of business seeing her...
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5 Tips for surviving the holidays without your Soul Seat!

Are you traveling this month and can't take your Soul Seat with you? We're here to help! Here are 5 great options to help you avoid the pain that comes from sitting in conventional chairs. Trust us, your body will thank you!   1. Scope out the chair in each room that will best accommodate cross-legged sitting and lunge for it.   2. Offer everyone else a seat and hang back until there’s nothing left but the floor. Then selflessly embrace the “suffering”.   3. Find allies among the babies and young people at your gathering. Organize puzzles and board games on the floor, then invite the adults you want to hang with to join you there. Bounce a fussy baby, or take a bored toddler for a walk so you aren’t sitting so much. You’ll be much appreciated by all involved.   4. Organize your activities with stretching and movement in mind. Sign yourself and the crew up for a holiday run/walk fundraiser. Be the one to suggest a hike after meals. Grab an ankle and stretch your quads at every available opportunity. Take a squat every chance you get (pretend to tie shoelaces or point out something cool to a toddler).   5. Prepare your “Thanks, but no thanks” response in advance for when folks insist on moving you to a chair. Examples: “It’s not personal, I just prefer the floor, that’s all.” “My chiropractor/massage therapist/physiotherapist has prescribed this for my ___(fill in the blank)__. " “I’m much more comfortable here after so many hours on the plane / train / car.”
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